Have A Little Faith

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
3½ Out Of 5 Stars
June 27, 2014


Hollywood’s milking it like they always do with hot projects.  But have faith in the good that can still come of this.

“I’m asking you to have faith Prime, maybe not in who we are, but in who we can be.”

4 years after the events of Chicago, the alien like creatures that have invaded our planet both good an evil cannot be trusted.  The age of the Transformer … is over.  Our honorable leader, Optimus Prime and his Autobots are being hunted and killed!  Anyone in conjunction with any Transformer has now put his or her life in jeopardy.  No one is safe! 

Cade Yeager (Mark Whalberg) is a struggling inventor, trying his hardest to put his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) through college.  He accidentally stumbles upon Optimus in hiding and helps repair him.  The government finds out about their newly made connection and the two families, The Yeagers and The Autobots are forced to work together.  Optimus is reluctant but Cade asks him to put his faith in humans again for who they can be.  With a little faith, Optimus trusts Cade, works with him and all surviving Autobots, FREES THE DINOBOTS, and discovers the source of the problem to win this war!

It was really exciting to see a different take on the recent, cinematic Transformer material!  We now have a new hero to follow, Mark Whalberg, who in my opinion was great to watch.  I really could relate to his fatherly manner, the future father in me I guess was reaching out.  His on screen daughter Tessa, Nicola Peltz, was a pleasantry to watch as well, seeing as I’m used to disliking her character (all in fun) from her work in TV with Bates Motel, one of my favorite shows.  I hope this film leads to more work for her on the big screen.  Furthermore, we can’t forget about our hero, Optimus Prime!  Loved Peter Cullen’s masculine voice and all of Prime’s butt kicking action!

This was a great concept!  For three films now, humans have worked with the good Transformers to take out the bad ones.  Then the ending of Transformers 3 happened in Chicago where people lost a lot of loved ones and their feelings towards Transformers, all of them, completely changed.  “Maybe we should stop working with them all together?  Maybe they should just go back to where they came from?” 

So the marketing of wanted posters for Optimus Prime and other Autobots was a cool concept.  It really helps to usher in this new era of Transformer films, as 3 is a good round number to end things so 4 means “this is the beginning of a new franchise within this franchise”.  I had a blast on opening night!

… Then I watched it again with my sister a couple days later as she hadn’t seen it yet. 

Let me tell you, this became A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MOVIE!!!  I was so surprised!  “Did I watch a different film at the premiere??”  All the cool action sequences, like Optimus’ “awe inspiring” death slaying move to the villain in the end, were just bland!  The taming and working together of the Dinobots, when Optimus rides the T-Rex Grimlock, the part I REALLY wanted to see, a totally different feeling of “whatever” the 2nd time!  Funny lines like with the cool looking Asian Transformer, Drift, voiced by Ken Wantanabe, not as funny anymore!  John Goodman’s bad butt, overweight transformer, Hound, not the same the next time!  All the cool shots, phrases, and scenes were just not the same the 2nd time around.  A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MOVIE!!  I fell asleep a couple of times.  I could not believe what happened the 2nd time.  I didn’t think it’d be like that at all! 

The length played a huge part in this.  No matter how much fun these films maybe, the “trying to put these films on the same level of The Avengers or The Dark Knight” needs to just STOP!  No amount of money that Optimus may bring will ever put him on this level that director Michael Bay and the studio Paramount try to put him on.  Transformers are just not that type of movie, where people go crazy to make sure they see on opening day or even unhealthily crazy and shoot people at movie theaters because of all the commotion of people interested in the film.  They are not, have not, and will ever not be that type of film. 

To me, it proved the reception of the film; all the criticism it received and the money it made in the box office.  Critics ripped it to shreds for the overall quality of the story it told, yet it brought in BILLIONS at the box office, primarily from the average Joe like me who saw it once and told everyone to go see it who all saw it and told their friends to go see it, etc. 

I can’t say that I can’t wait for the next one, for these feelings of “whatever” is amongst me now that the hype of its release is over and I had a terrible 2nd experience.  For the feeling of “Hollywood is milking it as always” came over me after the 2nd time. 

But who knows?  I always try to look on the bright side of things. 

So I’ll have faith in the Transformers.  Maybe not in who they are, but in who they can be. 

Transformers: Age Of Extinction
Action & Adventure, 165 Minutes, PG-13
Written By: Ehren Kruger
Directed By: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Whalberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, & Petter Cullen (as the voice of Optimus Prime)

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